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Michigan 81, China 33, Us 21, Lansing 14, Snyder 12, Martha 12, Wisconsin 12, America 11, Gregg 9, Mike Tobin 8, North Carolina 8, Obama 7, Afghanistan 7, U.s. 7, Bashar Al-assad 6, United States 6, Mike 5, Charles Grassley 5, Syria 5, Pepsi 4,
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  FOX News    Americas Newsroom    News/Business. Bill Hemmer, Martha  
   MacCallum. News coverage and discussion. New.  

    December 11, 2012
    6:00 - 7:59am PST  

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>> eric: very quickly, at vanessa riddle or at my twit, we got her up to 50,000. she wanted 50,000 followers. now she's up to 200,000 followers. so sign on. >> steve: very simple to do. thank you very much for filling in. brian will be back here tomorrow. >> gretchen: see you then. >> steve: have a great day, everybody. martha: thanks, you guys. we start with this fox news alert. there is live look, lansing, michigan. massive crowds gathering at the state capitol. they're protesting the state's right to work law. the lawmakers set to cast the final votes inside that building this morning. we understand the governor is very ready to sign that into law. very controversial situation going on live in lansing. good morning, everybody, i'm
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martha maccallum. you are here in america's nice room. >> i'm gregg jarrett in for bill gregg: the right to work vote will mean unions will no longer force workers to pay dues. that the birthplace of the powerful united auto workers union. martha: this has huge national implications over the power of organized labor. governor rick snyder believes there will be more job. he believes the protests hurt more than they help. here he is. >> if you go forward you will create a environment involving labor issues this could rise to the lebl level where i might not keep it off my agenda. i'm not happy about being in this situation. >> he has the responsibility as our leader avoiding this kind of a cliff. it is not, it is not good enough to be for him to say liks behind us. this will do the opposite.
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martha: there is the scene there. that is a live shot this morning. we were told there would be perhaps thousands of people gathering on the scene. certainly seems to becoming out to be that kind of a turnout. take a look at that this morning, 9:01 eastern time in lansing, michigan. the governor is set to sign this into law later today. it will become the 24th right to work state in the nation. this is growing trend across the united states. you look at states like michigan and wisconsin, both very big union states where this is a real, perhaps, turning point in this fight. mike tobin on the ground live at the capital in lansing. what is happening now, mike? >> reporter: well, it is interesting, martha, top democrats in michigan say despite everything you see, despite the show of force on the lawn at the capitol this state fight is really over. two senate bills are expected to go to the house
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for a vote of concurrence and they are expected to last. as you look around at live pictures. you look at video we have rolling. look at everything on the lawn in the cradle kill of -- cradle of organized labor. michigan will become a right-to-work state. republicans have the majority in the house and senate. all michigan democrats can do is let their voice be heard and express their anger. >> but now it is official. ladies and gentlemen, the governor of michigan is greedy nerd and one weak fweek. we're not taking it anymore. he wasn't satisfied with outsourcing thousands of jobs toe low-wage china when he was on the board of gateway computer. he wants to turn michigan into the same low wage environment we see in china. >> reporter: looking around here live at the scene at the capitol, you have teachers who took the day off from school to demonstrate. you have united auto
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workers. we saw several big trucks from the teamsters. a lot of people sympathetic to efforts of these workers out here making their voices heard, expressing their discontent with what has happened. governor snyder told me a short time ago this is in response to a ballot initiative you remember failed in november. that was proposition 2. it would have put collective bargaining in the michigan constitution. it would have made it untouchable by any kind of new legislation. that is part of the complaint from the democrats. they say it is politics and retribution. also the complaint you hear from democrats it happened so fast. it happened without the public having time for input. what you see on the lawn is something governor snyder referenced f there wasn't enough time for public input you wouldn't have all the people on the lawn. martha? martha: there's a point. the union retowarding to name-calling, calling him agreed a greedy nerd and weak geek. with the fact this is a done
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deal, this particular bill, what do the demonstrators hope to accomplish? what is their future down the road hope in turning this around? >> reporter: it is pretty interesting because governor snyder had the luxury watching some other union battles take place in wisconsin, in ohio, in indiana. one of the things they did they included a appropriation in this legislation. therefore under michigan law it can not be attacked with statewide ballot initiative like what happened in ohio. the only avenues right now seems for the democrats or people opposed to this legislation is to go after it with a legal challenge, or turn their sights to the next election, martha. martha: we're watching these protesters. we have seen diminishing membership in unions really across the country. it seems to be a growing movement now with the 24th state. but, clearly there was a large union presence and strength during the presidential election, mike. and the president was there yesterday in michigan. clearly he feels an allegiance to the union
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which, you know, certainly helped get him elected in michigan. >> reporter: you heard a lot of people in michigan say they turned out in numbers for the president. they expect him to come out here and do something. we heard the president yesterday say this is taking michigan in the wrong direction while speaking in michigan. i talked to governor snyder about that. he said he is moving in a direction he believes will take michigan forward where it needs to be, where it needs to grow economically. he will not necessarily listen to what could be perceived as a little bit of a threat from washington the president is opposed to something you're doing. he is not concerned about putting michigan at odds with washington. what he is concerned we says is moving michigan forward in terms of growing jobs, martha. martha: mike, you see separation between union leadership and workers themselves in terms of their political backgrounds. we saw what happened in wisconsin with the effort to out of the governor there, scott walker, after he helped to initiate moves like this in terms of the union. john kasich also had issues
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come up after his election. he tried to enact things in ohio. does governor snyder expect in the next election round there will be a big backlash against him as well? >> he expects, he does understand he put his feet into a tempest here if you will but governor snyder wants to draw the distinction what happened in wisconsin and what happened in ohio because this isn't about collective bargaining. this is simply what he calls freedom to work and what so many other people call right to work. this gives workers the option to choose. this gives them the option to choose whether they want to belong to union. it will put unions in the position where they need to cater to the rank-and-file instead of membership. martha: worth noting in details of this, right now if these workers don't want to join the union, still have to pay union dues anyway just to work in that place. this would change that. if you want to work there and don't want to be in the union you will not be asked to take union dues out of
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your paycheck either, right, mike? >> reporter: that's exactly what it is, martha. martha: thanks so much, mike tobin. we'll go back to the scene live throughout the morning watching what is going on in michigan. gregg: quite a day. advocates for right to work legislation say it means more jobs for the states and the numbers seem to bear that out. look at this over 10-year period of time employment increased 10.3% in right to work states. and increased only 1.9% in non-right to work states. looking at the national average over the last decade, employment increased 5% in the current under employment picture showing the same trend. as of october the average unemployment rate in right to work states is 6.9% but 7.6% unemployment in non-right to work states. the national rate for that month? 7.9%. martha: yeah. very interesting numbers. so, later we'll talk to
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michigan state senator who helped sponsor the legislation. he helped to push this through. senate majority leader of michigan joins us here on "america's newsroom" at the top of the hour. gregg: a shocking new intelligence report warning that china is on its way to replacing the united states as the world's biggest economy. the national intelligence council saying that if nothing changes china will blow past the united states by 2030. asia will have a larger military and gross domestic product. fox business network's stuart varney, host of "varney & company", is here with more. stu, the economists are now predicting that china will hit 8% gdp growth. ours is scant compared to that, isn't it? >> that is the basis of the story. right now china has a economy worth $11 trillion a year. america has an economy worth
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$15 trillion a year. with china's very, very rapid growth rate and america's lackluster growth rate, if you look at the trends china will indeed become the world's biggest, they will become number one, a few years before the year 2030. it is not just the growth rate, gregg. there are a couple other factors going on here too. europe and are drowning in debt. china has a near $3 trillion reserve surplus. you've got demographics. europe and america are aging rapidly. in europe the population is shrinking. there is no such demographic problem in china. you add it all together, debt, demographics and growth rate china is indeed on course to become number one fairly soon. gregg, hold on a second. there is a danger in just extrapolating out from current trends. what's in place will go on forever. we did that with japan 30 years ago. got that one wrong. maybe we shouldn't be
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extrapolating like this with china. gregg: the other thing that is very conspicuous here is the enormous trade imbalance with china. our trade deficit with china has tripled over the last 10 years. point of fact i just looked it up today. we export 7%. they export 23% to the united states. isn't that a job killer for americans? >> yes it is. there is no question about it. many of the jobs which our fathers and grandfathers had in the united states left a generation ago or 10 years ago, they left for china and that's basic in the relationship between china and the united states economically at this moment. that doesn't change if china becomes the world's number one economy. it might even get worse. gregg: yeah. and china is now overtaken the united states as the world's largest trading partner. >> yes. gregg: we'll talk about that with senator charles grassley coming up next hour. stuart varney, thanks very much.
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>> thanks, gregg. martha: this whole topic is at the forefront now. we're getting new details on the sale after bankrupt solar battery company to china. a company that took $250 million in stimulus money before going belly-up. a bankruptcy judge could decide today whether to allow that sale of a123. the chinese firm outbidding a milwaukee-based company for the right to buy that defunct company. senator charles grassley is one of several lawmakers that oppose the deal. he says it is a threat to our national security and he will join us live in the next hour. so we've got a jam-packed hour headed your way. the head of president obama's jobs council and chairman of general electric turned heads with his comments on the state of china's economy. why jeff immelt says, communism works. gregg: hmmm. they said you had to pass it to find out what's in it. well now the new hidden fee in the new health care law that you will have to pay for.
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martha: and the hollywood movie about the hunt for bin laden. the newest controversy about the flick upsetting liberals this time. listen. >> we'll never find him. he is one of the newest copd makes it hard to breathe,
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martha: new comments by president obama's jobs council chairman have raised some eyebrows this morning. here's general electric ceo, jeffrey immelt talking about economic growth in china. >> to a certain extent, charlie, 11 to 12% is unsustainable. you end up getting too much stimulus or, misallocation of resources. they are much better off working on more of a
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consumer-based economy, less dependent on exports, driving technology and innovation harder. really one thing that actually works, state-run communism may not be your cup of tea but their government works. martha: hmmm. that is getting a lot of attention this morning. now while the gao says the relationship with china is important he is not encouraging communist government as he said in the quote. may not be your cup of tea. bob beckel, former campaign manager. andrea tanteros, news day columnist and both co-hosts of "the five." andrea, you do you have a problem with that? >> yeah i do. i wonder if i studied history to look at eastern europe to see how welcome nism worked for those countrys? the reason he is saying that, mr. immelt, our jobs czar sent a lot of ge's
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business over to china. we heard during this campaign, this grueling presidential campaign, martha, president obama attacked mitt romney for outsourcing when his jobs czar, jeff immelt, sent, couple of examples. one company in wisconsin, the summer over to china. another light bulb factory in virginia over to china. i mean ge got $1.2 billion in stimulus funds. they send the jobs over to china. no wonder he likes china so much. martha: i mean a lot of people have the problem with the way this jobs czar handled things in his own business and feel it is not reflective of somebody working really hard to encourage capitalism and to encourage a growing u.s. economy, bob? >> first of all, andrea got to get over the election. it is over, okay. you lost. you have another shot. these things happen. just calm down. it will be all right. now, by the way, immelt is exactly right. the chinese have been kicking our butts around for the last two decades economically. for what they have got, which is a communist-managed
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economiter doing a very good job of it. not something we want. not something we want of our allies but it is working and you can't argue with that. they have been growing at phenomenal rate. >> currency manipulation, human rights violations. one-child policy. martha: i get bob's point. what bob is saying. business people tend to look at things in, you know, in terms of efficiency. does it work. i think in many ways he was trying to separate his argument here saying this system that works and u.s. economy then is forced to deal with it in the form that it exists if we want to be competitive. >> here's our problem as we're shipping all the jobs over to china. we're borrowing money from china and we have to pay interest on all that. look, while maybe try and understand what mr. immelt was saying he has a position specifically designed to grow jobs in this country. so it's a bit hypocritical for him to sit on tv in this country and praise a nation
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that, okay, how did they get to be number one? labor practice. >> clearly had his ceo hat on the interview, bob, and not jobs hat in that. >> exactly. martha: in of itself raises questions. he doesn't mention in this interview as far as we could tell, we got as much of interview as he could mention human rights violations. mention the issue of ethics dealing with this country and what the united states should be doing with regard to that. >> we deal with the china every day. we've got to deal with them. he was not being asked by human rights violations. asking about the economy and jobs. martha: how did they get that economy, bob. >> they dud they get it? >> how did they get such cheap labor? >> they have a billion 300 million people. >> and how do they treat those workers? >> i'm the last person to defend china. i think they're the greatest threat to the united states more so than islamists that is not the point here. the point their communist
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system of that particular country of that size in a managed economic, in a communist country works. >> the worst part, martha the jobs they shipped overseas, american workers they're not paying taxes on, mr. immelt. >> not just immelt. virtually every big corporation. >> that is nazi eighting. >> tax reform issue i would love to take on. that is good point to bring up. andrea. see you on "the five.". >> it is over andrea. take it easy. >> i need therapy, bob i don't know. >> you do obviously. >> i'm still not over it. >> take me an aspirin. see me in the morning. gregg: we miss the recounts in 2000, don't we. back to our top story. look at thousands of union protesters descending on the state capitol in michigan. they're very angry about a new law that will be signed that says, you know, you don't have to join a union. mike tobin is there trying
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to get in middle of the crowds. he will join us in a couple of minutes. martha: that will be interesting. a shocking crime in the middle of new york city. a man gunned down in cold blood as holiday tourists looked on in horror. >> he was gone, whoever did it was gone. nobody has seen him. there was a bunch people around. oming. i have obligations. cute obligations, but obligatio. i need to rethink the core of my portfolio. what i really need is sleep. introducing the ishares core, building blocks for the heart of your portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. till you finish your vegetables. [ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion. vegetable nutrition they need, fruit taste they love.
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money she is getting. the soda company agreed to pay an estimated $50 million to beyonce. worth every penny, don't you think? gregg: oh, yeah. martha: it is being described as a hybrid deal that includes traditional promotional things, commercials, super bowl halftime show which everybody is looking forward and pepsi cans featuring beyonce's image. it includes financial support for more of the singer's upcoming creative projects. good for you.
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she worked herself a very nice pepsi deal. gregg: if she likes pepsi i like pepsi. she likes anything i like anything. martha: i don't have the pull she does. gregg: a winter wallop. folks digging out after a massive storm system that dump 16 inches of sco in the upper midwest. skiers are very thrilled. get out your wax, edge them up. businesses love selling shovels, ice melt and snowblowers. tom good to see you. has the novelty in the biggest storm in last couple of years begun to wear off? >> reporter: well i don't think it has worn off, gregg, on the kids. they love to go outside. they are sledding every afternoon every chance. certainly worn off on these folks. these drivers are heading eastbound into downtown minneapolis and st. paul. icy and slippery and as you can see another slow commute.
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traffic backed up all over the system because the roads are still not clear. it is a pretty tough go at it. also not thrilled, the state patrol. since friday night they handled nearly 650 crashes with 67 injuries. one person was killed on minute society -- minnesota roads since friday night. nearly 1300 cars slid off the road causing problems like these on the system. the only good news about all this, if there is some, gregg, we're under heat wave. it was 8 degrees when we got here at 4:00. up to 23 degrees. things, not for those guys but things are improving. gregg: wow, it is a heat wave. get out the jams. pretend it is a beach. >> reporter: exactly. gregg: tom, with all these problems, aren't you folks supposed to be used to that? >> reporter: you know, you would think so. this is minnesota. this is the upper midwest but we haven't had a snowstorm like this february of 2011. last year we just had measely four or five inches
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more most folks here in minnesota. so this is new. what happened on saturday and sunday the ground was so warm that first snow was really heavy. it melted really quickly and really fused to the road. that is what the problems are they're trying to iron out, the department of transportation and they're trying to scrape that out. they need mother nature. we won't see 30 degrees or freezing until tomorrow. gregg: tom, hang in there. in minneapolis. thanks very much. more context on the storm's impact on the minneapolis-st. paul area. 10 1/2 inches fell at airport in 24 hours. that only happened 20 times in the past 100 years. the fourth biggest december snowstorm. this season has almost seen as much snow as all of last winter when the twin cities saw mere 20 inches of snow. martha: we've got new details for you on the $25 billion fee to pay for the president's health care law. $63 a person is how it breaks down. what you will be paying for it.
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gregg: controversy surrounding the new movie about the hunt for osama bin laden. why critics say is glorifies torture. ♪ i love the holidays.
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gregg: take a look at this,
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left-hand side of your screen. this is what is happening in michigan, lansing, michigan. huge union protests. mike tobin's live in the middle of it all. we'll get an update from him in just a few minutes, top of the hour actually. but the folks there, union workers are very upset over a law that will be signed by the governor today, passed by the legislature which basically says, michigan can in some ways be a right-to-work state. you can not force workers to pay union dues. charles payne is here from the fox business network. this is an important moment for the state of michigan which is the birthplace of unions and the uaw. >> it is and listen, it also says a lot about where we are as an economy and how you get out of economic fixes. as much as we hear the congrat terry sense the hey,
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auto sector is alive and well and made a comeback, the fact it hasn't. the only way michigan can be competitive with its neighboring states and global economy is have a right-to-work state. gregg: president obama said yesterday when he was there in michigan, they want to take away your to earn more money. what say you? >> well i think essentially the idea is if there is prosperity, a lot of prosperity, more people will have the opportunity to make a whole lot of money, not a handful of people. what we've seen particularly with unions and the government is, where there is stagnant job growth, whether california, illinois, those kind of places, where senority takes precedence over hiring. so you may have a captain or sergeant, somewhere who is making so much money if he would take a small cut maybe they could hire two more rookies. they don't do that kind of stuff. it happens in every city and every town. we heard the horror stories throughout this economic malaise. i kind of disagree with that
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statement from the president. gregg: all right. do what extent do union obligations really drag down businesses and economies with, you know, health care for life and these onerous pension benefits no one can really afford? >> you hit the nail right on the head. the bottom line is, listen, we've come a long way when this country absolutely needed unions, workers needed representation to where now unions seem to have their interests at heart before the company, before shareholders and before even the customers. we've seen what the kind of damage it has done in the auto industry, airline industry, trucking, more recently twinkie. of course on the public scale, schools, you can't fire bad teachers. it's a tough sell right now in a free market economy. gregg: 25, 30 years ago, unions were roughly 20% of the workforce. now they dwindled to less
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than 10%. >> and they continue to dwindle. as people in michigan have the opportunity to make their own mind up, listen, unions spent millions, maybe 100 million dollars on the presidential election last go round. there are people in the union didn't want all the money to go to democratic candidates. this is called democracy. people want opportunity, a, to work and b, not shaken down for things they don't believe in. it is not working anymore. it is antiquated system. started with the right intentions and been honorable thing for america up to point but i think we've hit a tipping point where it does more harm than good. gregg: you see a lot of businesses flocking to the pure right to work states and away from a lot of union states especially those right to work states contiguous with geographically with the union states and, you know, the northeast is one area. >> wisconsin, think about wisconsin, what just happened there the last couple years. collective bargaining, now
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that is the heart of a lot of these social union type programs and i got to tell you, the citizens there spoke loud and clear. they had a recall election. they had the opportunity to change their mind. they did not. they understand, again while everyone wants workers to have rights, ultimately, we want, we don't want the rights to interfere with broad prosperity. gregg: over time, unions got a little too greedy? >> they got a little too greedy over time. the best example would be the auto industry. management and unions felt there was no competition. no one wanted to buy datsun and sat amongst themselves and bickered over the money. we got lower quality product. japanese automakers came in and took over the industry. gregg: yeah. all right. charles payne, thank you very much. the michigan state senator who helped sponsor the controversial legislation and helped push it through will join us.
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the senate majority leader of michigan will join us at the top of the hour. stay tuned for that. martha: we're looking forward to that. meantime we bring you this. the body of a u.s. navy seal who was killed this weekend in afghanistan is returning home today. petty officer first class, nicholas check died in a daring mission that freed an american doctor kidnapped by the afghanistan. kelly wright live on the story for us. what else are he learning about petty officer, checque. >> he grew up in monroeville, pennsylvania. a suburb of pitsburg. he game naval warfare unit, seal team six. that was the team that killed usama bin laden although he was not part of this particular mission. the operation i last involved in was the daring rescue mission of dr. dilip joseph an american kidnapped by the taliban. during the combat mission,
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checque was killed. he was 28 years old. the family of dr. joseph issued a statement. we want to extend our deepest condolences to the family of the american sailor who died during dilip's rescue. we could not be more grateful for his herroism and to bring bdilip home. he was sad to luring learn that a u.s. service member was killed during this operation. martha. martha: kelly, i want to ask you a little bit more about dr. joseph. what was he doing in afghanistan when he was abducted by the taliban? >> reporter: dr. joseph is the medical advice sore for "morningstar", a nonprofit group based in colorado. "morningstar" is involved in economic and community development projects in afghanistan. "morningstar" has not released details about why dr. joseph was visiting afghanistan this particular occasion but the group has
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been involved in developing a training program for afghan doctors. "morningstar" said it established clinics and leadership groups and is trying to bring hope and opportunity to afghanistan. martha your heart goes out to the family of this young man. kelly, thank you very much. good to have you with us this morning. we're learning a little more about petty officer checque. owe grew up in the suburbs of pittsburgh, pen vain. although only 28 years old at time of his death he was already recipient of the bronze star for valor. he enlisted in october 2002. he served in iraq and afghanistan. we thank him for his service. the heartfelt words of the family of that doctor. imagine how they feel knowing they got their loved one but at the expense of this very brave young navy seal. gregg: seal team six. they're the best of the best. they know every day when they go in to one of these operation it is could be
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their last day. takes an immense amount of courage to do that. martha: indeed it does. gregg: the crowds we have been watching now made it inside the state capitol in lansing, michigan. take a listen. [shouting] >> shut it down!. gregg: shut it down is what they're saying as lawmakers there are not about to do that. in fact they're set to cast their final votes on the state's right to work law. we'll get back to michigan. mike tobin, in the middle of it all. martha: big story. we'll go back there. a pack of grinches caught on camera stealing one family's joy this christmas. we'll tell you why these decorations mean so much to this family. ♪ .
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[shouting]. gregg: look at that. that is the rotunda of the state capitol in lansing, michigan, as the legislature there is about to vote to turn michigan into a right-to-work state and those union protesters are down right angry about it. this legislation which will be signed by the republican governor essentially says that michigan is no longer a closed shop where workers have to join a union and have to pay dues. and that of course has raised the ire of union supporters and union members. we'll get back to mike tobin in just a moment who's live in the middle of all of that. martha: we also want to get to this morning. there is new controversy surrounding catherine bigelow movie about the hunt
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and killing of osama bin laden. you first remember conservatives were claiming that classified information may have been used to make this movie, "zero dark thiry". but this time now that the movie is about to be released some liberals are speaking out and taking aim at what they're calling the glorification of torture in this movie. here is a clip from "zero dark thiry". >> can i be honest with you? i am bad news. i'm not your friend. i'm not going to help you. i'm going to break you. any questions? martha: i think a lot of people are looking forward to seeing this and seeing how it depicts the raid that killed usama bin laden. a huge moment in the history of our country of course. i'm joined by pete hegseth, u.s. army veteran and ceo of
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concerned veterans for america. >> thank you for having me. martha: you shared those initial concerns that there was too much intelligence coming from inside. there was sort of feeding this movie and also one of the concerns originally it was going to come out right before the election and that it was seeking to sort of glorify president obama's role in all of this. where do you stand on that part of the criticism now? >> those were the initial and largest pieces of my criticism. if we're sharing intelligence with film-makers in addition being leaked to "the new york times" and releasing movies to affect political elections based on the intelligence that sbs a it sly bright line what we should be doing. i have not seen this film. i need to caveat with that. this criticism strikes me more blatantly political in nature. there seems to be a seen where there was enhanced interrogation techniques used which by the way is factual. there were enhanced interrogation techniques. i don't know how far they went in depicting it or
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overdepicting it. reality is history is what it is. martha: the worried i read there is 15 move minute scene that grabs you out of your seat and pulls you right into this moment. 15 minutes of enhanced interrogation techniques at the top of the movie that sets the tone. i'm not saying whether that is good or bad. i think the director's motivation here appears to be make you feel as if you're there. >> yeah. no, i mean this is a hollywood movie. they're trying to grab you. i'm reminded of passion of the christ, if you've seen that movie with jesus during the whipping. that was meant to draw out the emotion, to bring you into the movie. i'm sure that's the type of thing they're trying to do here, to say it is glorification, i'm not in the business of defending hollywood movie makers. at end of the day it is story being told. i hope it is a story of herroism. i read other depictions of the film. they said it really lays out the intelligence work done
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through the decade of the 2000s to lead to the killing of bin laden. martha: a lot of people thought "the hurt locker" was a really strong movie and have high expectation this is will do exactly what you're saying but the interesting thing is, some folks are outraged about the way that it depicts, they're saying that dick cheney would love this movie and it dplorfys, that it suggests that these techniques actually led to the appreenhad shun and killing of usama bin laden which a lot of people believe is true. let me give you a quote. i want to get your reaction. sorry for the long-winded description. this is "new york times." it produces information vital to the pursuit of the world's most wanted man. no waterboarding, no bin laden. that is what zero dark 30 appears to suggest. the intelligence agents involved in the torture in this movie seem not so much relieved but challenged by obama's edict that it stop. what do you make of that?
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>> well, again, you're going to have to look at how much hollywood added into this. people glorified "the hurt locker". "the hurt locker" had a lot of spin veterans have to take issue with. it portrayed some things accurately but other depicted things that didn't happen. this may occur in the film. if in that case it goes too far. no doubt enhanced teartation -- interrogation was used. no doubt intelligence used in that whether it led to the actual killing? a report released on the hill that investigated this for three years. we'll find out effective it really was. this movie will tell a story and they're using that scene at the beginning to drew people in. martha: it does. if you have seen the trailer. we'll see where it goes when we see the whole thing. >> i'll be watching it. martha: pete, thanks so much. always great to talk to you. thanks for joining us. gregg: law enforcement is on standby to make sure what you're seeing there does not get out of hand in lansing,
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michigan as the legislature is about to pass a right to work law which the governor has vowed to sign and the union folks are down right angry about it. mike tobin is there with the protesters. we'll have a live report in just a moment. [shouting] eat good fats. avoid bad. don't go over 2000... 1200 calories a day. carbs are bad. carbs are good. the story keeps changing. so i'm not listening... to anyone but myself. i know better nutrition when i see it: great grains. great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like naturalrains. you can't argue with nutrition you can see. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself. for multi grain flakes tt are anxcellent source of fiber try great grains banana nut crunch and cranberry almond crunch. music: "make someone happy" music: "make someone happy" ♪it's so important to make someone happy.♪ it's so important to make meone happy.♪ ♪make just one someone happy
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martha: they say the devil in the details, right? hidden in a new obama health care law a fee that will be passed on to millions of americans. it is $63 a head. it kicks in 2014. the fee is help meant to cover people with preexisting conditions under the new health care law which is big part of that. the obama administration says the fee is only temporary. they believe that costs
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overall will lower, over time and then they will be able to phase that out in 2017, unless congress decides to extend the fee if those cost savings don't seem to materialize. if history is any guide congress almost never finds parting with new taxes very easy. several large companies will end up paying tens of millions of dollars in the fee. maybe a few hundred dollars for the small firms. most will get passed on to workers. it is a tax increase no matter how you look at it really. [shouting] gregg: well there you see it. this is brand new videotape from lansing, michigan, moments ago. you have thousands of union protesters angry over a new law about to be passed by the legislature there. this is the rotunda inside. and the governor is going to sign it, which will turn michigan into a right-to-work state. now supporters of right to work say this is going to attract businesses. it is going to encourage investment. it will allow workers to
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choose whether they want a union or not. critics say it will suppress wages, weaken collective bargaining. but martha, the important thing about this is, notwithstanding the claims by unions, this doesn't outlaw collective bargaining. martha: no. it doesn't. it means if you go to work for a company that has a union you don't have to pay the dues. used to be everyone had to pay them across the board even if you didn't want to be in the union. you simply now don't have to do that. we expect the law will be passed and signed into the law by the governor. quick process. unlike with wisconsin, which was a l and dragged out process. they have been able to push this through quickly much to the dismay of democrats and unions alike. this is volatile scene. they vowedded revenge in the lex electoral cycle, democrats have. gregg: it will be hard to overturn. there was talk of a referendum, so the legislature put language in
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the bill that would essentially prevent a referendum. their next action, the unions, will be to file a lawsuit in federal court claiming that federal law guaranties collective bargaining. again this doesn't outlaw collective bargaining. that will be a tough sell in front of a federal judge. martha: coming up we'll speak with a michigan state senator who helped sponsor the legislation and push it through. we'll talk to him moments away back in "america's newsroom" right after this. >> you will have people working right alongside of you that will not have to pay union dues, if you pay union dues but will still -- >> each of
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[shouting] [chanting] martha: we are moments away now from a historic vote in lancing michigan. authors the live pictures at 10:00am eastern time as protestors mass inside the state house. michigan, much course, the birth phraeufplace of the organized
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labor union. going to become a right to work state. good to have you back with us, everybody, i'm martha maccallum. >> reporter: for decades they've had the ability to control through unions a lot of the working conditions, a lot of that will change. i'm gregg jarrett in for bill hemmer. the governor is going to sign it into law, right to work means workers not required to join a union in order to get a job and that has union leaders furious. mike tobin is live right in the thick of things at the capitol in lansing. talk to us about what is going on there. >> reporter: it's remarkable what is going on here. as you look around you can see the visual of what happens when a politician picks a fight with big labor, particularly he picks that fight here at a place that is so symbolically important to organized labor, the state of michigan, the birthplace of the united autoworkers. usually these rats are used to
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illustrate people who cross the picket lines, they have been fixed up with the names of top republican lawmakers in the state of michigan. so many people are out here right now. you've heard the criticism from the democrats that there hasn't been enough light shined on this process, this has made a sham of government transparency. governor snyder points to this and says that this is your counter argument, all of these people got the word to get out here. if there wasn't enough government transparency these people wouldn't be here. as we long on the ground here you can see the way all the way up to the capitol where the protestors are crowded on the steps right now, all with their protests in front of them. there is one right here linking snyder to the coch brothers, you hear that one pretty often, all the different signs supporting the unions, or important to note that governor snyder says what they are doing out here is not antiunion in his opinion because he says they are not going after collective bargaining. what he says they are doing is
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creating freedom to choose, that's why he calls it the freedom bill, he says it gives ordinary people who are working for an organization the option of whether they want to be union and put the union in the position of where they have to serve the individuals who are working for them. looking around this crowd again you have hundreds of people. we have school teachers out here. we've seen the federation of musicians out here, united autoworkers, the teamsters, they've come from as far away as west virginia. we've seen them from different states, all of them showing up in numbers again to illustrate what happens when you go after the unions, and in this case make this michigan the 24th right to work state. what is interesting about all of this is there isn't that much they can do other than make their voices heard and express their anger. the republicans have the vote in both houses. the legislation will go through for what should be called a vote of concurrence and it is
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expected to pass easily. the governor of course very supportive. it will move to the governor's desk where it's expected to be signed. that's a fight you have right here in lancing, michigan, a place symbolically important for the labor movement, back to you in new york. >> reporter: i no you've talked to a lot of the protestors back there, what is their biggest beef about this new law do they think they are going to lower their wages or weaken their collective bargaining position? which by the way still exists, it doesn't eliminate collective bargaining, or do they think it's going to soviet even thei soften their biggest benefits? what is the biggest beef. >> reporter: the beef is that it will eliminate revenue from the unions and take away the foundation, the strefpbt th strength of the unions, once you take that away they believe that gives the employers the ability to start running wild.
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>> reporter: mike, is there talk about filing a lawsuit here? >> reporter: yes, there is a lot of talk about that. we've talked with the top democrats here, we talked with the incoming democratic leader in the state legislature. they say they are looking at every aspect of this law trying to punch holes in the language of the law. also they are looking at challenging it under the open meeting clause. you've heard the complaint from democrats right now that this happened without the light of day being signed on it, it all happened very quickly. in his words it made government transparency a sham. they will certainly challenge it under open meeting laws because a lot of rules they say was suspended in order to get the legislation to move through so quickly. from governor snide every' snyder's position he wants this to move through quickly to get this done with as quickly as possible, gregg. martha: it will be interesting to see what the bottom line is for workers and employment in the state of michigan. earlier in the program we sort of went over some of the
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unemployment numbers, and it turns out that in right to work states they have higher employment levels and higher wage levels as well in many cases. so, i mean, that is the bottom line in terms of creating jobs, creating higher paying jobs, in michigan is clearly what the governor is hoping will happen has a result of all of this. and you also go back to the election, and the battle. this was mitt romney's home state, and he lost it to president obama. a lot of people largely because president obama supported the bailout of the carmakers in michigan, that was a very popular move for him politically in michigan. then you have this. you know, sort of under belly argument that has bub eld up i bubbled up in michigan and surfaced in the form of the governor so to speak. there is a real divide as to which way is the better way to grow the economy and jobs. as you can see these unions, gregg and mike are not going to go down without a fight. they have been a major institution in michigan for so
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many years, generation -fs familiegenerations of families have been part of these unions. no doubt there is a bit of fear inletting go of that model, in terms of what it might mean for the future. i'm sure, mike, that a lot of folks you are talking to out there have been involved in unions, and have families, for generations, who have relied on this system. [shouting] >> reporter: that is very much the case, it's also interesting, martha, you mentioned the novemberee hrefpblgts something yo november election. a lot of people on the national scene missed it, there was something voted on called proposition 2. that would have put collective bargaining in the michigan constitution and make it unchallengeable by any state laws that would be passed. governor snyder told the democrats in michigan at this time don't push this issue right now. it went to the voters and failed and in large part this is governor snyder's response to the fact that proposition 2 was pushed. he said don't do it or we'll
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come back with something else. he says now this is creating right to choose for workers, this is his response and he believes it will take michigan on the path to prosperity. you see all the people out here right now, they believe it will not, they believe it will ultimately lead to decreased rights, and safety, and benefits, decreased wages for workers skwhrao w. martha: wear looking at an i am an educator, i am union sign. they are very unhappy that teaches are out there protesting instead of in the classroom today. the governor said, our concern is the students first, we have to look out for the children in many ways before the adults. big, big, big dispute brewing in michigan. these pictures are incredible. we'll keep on them. despite the uproar union popularity in michigan does appear to have declined in recent years, last year 671,000 workers belonged to a union, that is just 17.5% of the workforce. it's down from 40% at the start of the organized labor movement
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in the 1960s. these numbers have been slipping away all across the count re, rile. and in october of this year the unemployment rate in the state was 9.1%. in 2009 it was 13.6%. you can see that the employment number has improved, the union numbers have dropped in the state of michigan, and it is really an important conflict going on there. >> reporter: advocates of right to work say over time it improves wages as well, and businesses are a lot healthier, arguably, because they are not burdened with these very onerous pension and healthcare for life obligations. martha: in the public unions you have the inherent conflict of negotiating with the taxpayers that are paying you and strike nothing some cases to make the taxpayer pay you more, which is an important layer to all of this. i should point out that we're going to talk to the state senator who created the legislation that was voted on, passing the senate. today they are voting on it in the house and then it is
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completely expected to be signed into law by the governor. you can see as we see some folks moving their way through, some concerns that crowds could get out of control there. so far no reports of that. >> reporter: law enforcement said we will not allow this to become wisconsin, so we are going to crackdown on anybody who gets out of hand. we are going to continue to follow what is happening there. new controversy over the sale of a bankrupt solar battery company after it received millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds. bla funds. >> i congratulate you on this milestone. you guys are the first american factory to start high volume production of advanced vehicle batteries. >> reporter: the detroit company once touted by the president is about to become property of china senator charles grassley is here live. he'll be joining us momentarily. why he says this sale is a threat to our national
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security. martha: a federal good putting the brakes on pro-life license plates, where he claims they are just not constitutional. >> reporter: an entire community is on edge after several pipe bombs are found. who police now believe may be behind this. >> it looked like it had been lit but did not go off. it didn't detonate. >> i can remember being in bed with kittens and hearing something and saying, did something blow up or it was a gunshot. [ mother ] you can't leave the table
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[shouting] martha: that is the scene in lancing, michigan right now as protestors come out in force in this live picture. they are voting rightthis issuet union members, and nonunion members would both have to pay dues in the workplace in michigan. a hugely volatile issue. michigan senate majority leader
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arlen mecoff proposed this law. he is in the vote right now. i did get a chance to speak with him a little while ago, here he is. we are joined this morning by senator arlen mecoff. good to have you with us today. >> good morning, martha. martha: this law is in the process of being passed for all intents and purposes in michigan. how will this change things for workers. >> it's a bold and historic day in michigan. we are looking at workplace fairness and he can what taoefplt it will give every hard-working family in michigan the right to choose, the freedom to work and the freedom to associate. martha: press was i press was ipresspresident obama was in michigan yesterday. he has a different take on it. >> these right to work laws don't have anything to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. what they are really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. martha: that would be of concern to a lot of workers i would
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imagine. >> i would say, martha to that, that if the unions are good at marketing and they have the skills that people want to join their group, the workers certainly will have that is choice to do that and he or she should be able to do that freely, no matter what they want to choose. martha: you know, some people say that your side, the republican side in michigan lost five seats in the last election and that you all are pushing through this legislation quickly so that you can get it passed before those seats are gone. is that true? >> no, martha. actually, this is a process that's been in discussion for a long period of time. the opportunity is here for us to be bold, and move michigan to a place where they'll have the greatest opportunity for job creation and have more and better jobs for our kids and grand kids. we've lost a lot of our kids and grand kids over the last decade, we are one of the only states that lost population to. have the opportunity to have this freedom of choice, hopefully that brings back our kids and grand kids because they'll want
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to work here because it's the best opportunity. martha: that case a lot and i know a lot of people in michigan people as you do. we are learning that there are thousands of people massing around the state capitol. we saw similar scenes in wisconsin during a similar battle last year. are you concerned about the backlash, and perhaps even violence in the wake of this vote? >> i don't think so, martha, the state police have everything under control. they are there to protect the safety of everybody and make sure that democracy is in front of us. you're seeing a great opportunity and a demonstration of democracy where people have the freedom to speak. martha: the other side says that they accept the fact that this vote is going to go through today and it will of course be signed by the governor. they say, you know what in the next round of elections we will take the bull by the horns and get these folks out who pushed this legislation through and we'll take michigan back to the sort of cradle of union that it has always been. >> well that is an opportunity that be played out in 2014.
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i would simply say it's a bold and historic day in michigan, the opportunity for workers to choose, to freely associate, and i think if the unions are really good at what they are going to do and offer great services the workers will have the value proposition in front of them and they will be able to choose how they spend their money. martha: michigan went for president obama in the last election. that was an indicator to many people that the union movement is very strong, had a lot of influence in the election. what do you say to that? >> from the west side of the state i really can't measure that that well, we are very one-sided in that aspect. the public has been discussing this for some period of time. it's not been any secret at all. it's really been something that has always been talked about and we just have the opportunity to make a historic day in michigan. martha: very interesting, everybody is watching your state right now. senator, thank you so much for being with us today. >> thank you, martha. martha: the interesting thing, you know, you look at all the states, wisconsin very different situation, in terms of what they voted on ending collective
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bargaining. in michigan you have two workers in the same place, one gets to decide, actually i don't really think the union is doing it for me, they are not helping me that much, i don't want to pay the dues. the other can say i'm a big supporter, i do want to pay by dues and be part of it. a woman earlier said i don't want to work somebody who doesn't have to pay what i have to pay. that is part of the outrage there. gregg: if she doesn't like that she can go get a job elsewhere, i suppose. the point here is, it seems inch at that ma to democracy to force somebody to join a union, to force somebody as a condition of sr-lcondition condition of having a job to join a union. martha: and if they are doing a great job people will want to be part of it and that will be an option as well. gregg: they put their lives on the line, a dangerous helicopter rescue on the side of a mountain, look at that. more dramatic videotape to show you and why it was border patrol
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that took the call. martha: devastating storm damage from a possible twister. storm survivors describe their incredible experience next. >> it was real scary. everything was just flying around, just tossed around. >> just heard a big, bam, thought the world was coming to an end.
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gregg: a very stern warning from republican lawmakers that the sale of a bankrupt solar battery company to china would mean bad for our national security. a judge could decide by today whether the sale of a123 systems will go through the detroit car battery maker took $132 million
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from a $250 million stimulus grant champion end by president obama. among the lawmakers who oppose the new deal is republican senator charles grassley of iowa, ranking member of the senate judiciary committee. senator, always a pleasure to speak with you. as i understand the deal, the chinese company would not buy a123's government business, including military contracts, so how would the sale to this chinese company be a threat to national security? >> well, under those circumstances, if they are true, that would take that factor out of our concern about the sale. that's going to be up to an organization and fresh recalled sefas, to -- cefeas i guess it's called to make sure that doesn't happened. it's still a concern of mine and we want interest reviewed and we want to be assured that that is not going to be the case.
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i think you start back at square one. first of all, we borrow about 10% of all our borrowing comes from the chinese, and then $133 million goes to a123, it goes bankrupt right away, we lose $123 million. the chinese benefit from it. the chinese companies have very close relationships with our government. you never know really how close they are. in this particular case they say they aren't very close, you can't sure of anything along that line. the most important thing here is the secretary of energy said before this sale ever took place that they were going to see that it was sold to an american company. gregg: right. >> so our letter has those two points that you made. number one is, why did they tell us it was going to be sold to an american company and it wasn't, and secondly, is there any sensitive security information or discoveries, anything like
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that going to go over to the chinese? gregg: senator, i mean $132 million of taxpayer money thrown into a black hole, and what must be infuriating to you is, treasury cut a check on the day of, or the day before they filed for bankruptcy for a million bucks. >> yeah. well here is the other thing is, you had the president on when he announced this a few years ago, you had a repeat of that, and it just shows that the president wasn't very clairvoyant when he says they are the first beneficiaries of the stimulus package, and remember the stimulus package didn't do anything it was supposed to do, so $133 million go out, and the president is wrong. it didn't produce batteries. gregg: is this just another solyndra, 132 million of hard i've earned taxpayer money essentially getting thrown away to a company that goes bankrupt, and then the remaining assets, which were nourished by taxpayer
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funds given to the chinese? >> yes. in the case of solyndra, i don't know where that has gone, whether that's gone to some other company. there was a very big financial contributor to the democratic party, and president obama in the 2008 election. somebody from oklahoma. that ended up also being a big-wig in solyndra, so you have those sort of dynamics to worry about as well and concerned about and irritated about. gregg: these could have been loans, with you they were grants in the great wisdom of the backers of the stimulus. senator charles grassley, thanks for being with us. >> i'm always glad to be with you, gregg. martha: back to lansing where we are covering breaking news this morning in "america's newsroom." look at the crowds that have massed outside the state capitol in lansing, also inside the state capitol, the vote is underway as we speak to pass a new law that would make it okay to be part of a union shop and
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not pay dues to that union. a historic moment in the state of michigan. here is a bit of the sights and sounds of what is happening there on the ground right now. >> we will lose our union power, what little we have of those here in our state and wages will go down, benefits will go down, it's going to hurt small business, local business, it's just going to hurt michigan. martha: those are the concerns of the folks outside the capitol there. as you know the governor feels very differently about what the impact will be on the economy in michigan. we will take a quick break and be right back with breaking news. gregg: we'll also tell you about this super secret space plain. look a plane. look at that. ready for liftoff. where exactly is it going? we'll tell you. anncr: some politicians seem to think medicare and...
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gregg: there you see it, left and right, the inside of the state capitol on the left, the rotunda. these are union protestors outside, thousands crowding around the capitol building itself, as lawmakers are about to vote on a right to work law that arguably weakens the
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stranglehold of unions in thats. stewart varney anchor of varney & company speaking with a union member. >> we just had the argument between the mayor of lansing and myself and company members right here about what is right to work. he's saying essentially that we are denying workers the right to form a union, you on the other side of the fence, what do you say? >> well, it's all propaganda, stewart, because i listened to them trying to like even michigan to the conditions of china. this is the propaganda we've been hearing from day one as union members. we know for sure that all of that is total lies and incorrect. right to work represents giving workers a choice, the freedom of choice to choose whether or not they want to form, join or assist a labor organization, or the right to refrain from any such activity. you know, right to work was given to federal employees over
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50 years ago by democrat president john f. kennedy, and that is all we are asking is to have the same rights as federal employees have had for over 50 years. that's all right to work really represents. >> you're a uaw member. if you get right to work rules in michigan does that not break the uaw in michigan? >> i don't really think so. first of all this, law will go into effect april 1st, 2013. however my contract does not expire until september, 2015. so i won't even be able tokesser size my protections and rights under right to work until that time. however, i think that as long as the unions ryan convenien unions reinvent themselves and look at this as a free market issue they can really work harder to sell themselves, their product and services to the union members, and that is what they really need to do in the first place. gregg: and kudos to stewart
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varney our friend over at the fox business network for doing that fair & balanced interview. you get to hear sort of the other side from these folks who are quite angry over this law, which is about to be passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. martha: let's head back overseas now for a moment because a former top syrian general is saying that it's highly possible that president bashar al-assad will use chemical weapons on his own people to crush the uprising that he has been fighting for many, many months now. what you're looking at here is a satellite image that shows where these chemical weapons are believed to be held. secretary of defense leon panetta says that the u.s. is keeping a very close eye on this situation. >> at this point the intelligence has hroefld off. w leveled off. we haven't seen anything new
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indicating any aggressive steps to move forward in in a way. we continu that way. martha: ambassador john bolton, former ambassador to the u.n. and a fox news contributor joins me now. good to see you. >> good morning, martha. martha: we've heard from the administration that the loading of these weapons basically would be a red line that could not be crossed. a lot of questions where the line exists. i wonder what you think about leon panetta's statement there, is he trying to court of cool the heels on this situation a little bit? >> it may simply be that the administration never had adequate plans to do something, once the risk of bashar al-assad's use of chemical weapons really approached putting them into combat situations. the absence of intelligence doesn't tell you anything, as the saying goes, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. what bashar al-assad is doing with the weapons may simply be hidden from us, not that he's not doing anything. the real question is making sure
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that those weapons don't get outside of syria, where they could be used by terrorist worldwide. at least that's what i think the highest u.s. priority should be. martha: i know you have said that, that your concern is locating these weapons, making sure that they don't fall into the wrong hands. of course for the people of syria the initial concern is whether or not these weapons will be used on them. >> sure, sure. martha: we've seen it happen in the past. means and motivation are the two significant things that have to be analyzed here in terms of bashar al-assad, he's got the means, does he have the motivation at this moment? >> well, i think so. i think that's one of the reasons why a number of western governments have been so concerned in the past week, that bashar al-assad's situation inside syria seems to be deteriorating, perhaps rapidly, and that is the kind of circumstance where with his back up against the wall his fate at risk, the fate of the alawit
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community to a possible blood bath by the opposition if they take control, somebody like bashar al-assad could seriously consider using chemical weapons. martha: the big concern is we don't want to wait until after this happens and innocent people are killed as we've watched tens of thousands already killed in syria and we haven't seen the horrific affects yet of chemical weapons, and of course we never do. where is the red line, where is the international outcry? where is the united nations? is bashar al-assad sensing that he's up against anything this that regard? >> well, that's where i think the administration is talking about a red line lacks credibility. the administration, the president in particular has said if bashar al-assad uses chemical weapons there will be consequences. well, what consequences? indictment by the international criminal court? for somebody in bashar al-assad's situation that is a pretty thin deterrent. and yet we also have to
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remember, these are very dangerous substances. so we cannot be casual about talking about inserting american or other nato forces as if we're just going to pick these things up like aloof of bread and take them out of the country or destroy them in place. the risk to our personnel i think also has to be taken into account. martha: it seems like two basic scenarios exist right now, either bashar al-assad decides he wants to stay in power and he decides to go ahead and use the chemical weapons to beat the people back, and to make them lose their will to fight him and then he would stay. the other one is that he could hraoefrbgs he could be granted exile somewhere and get out and avoid the whole situation. which is more likely to you think? >> well i think as of now it looks like he will stay and fight. but i have to say i think there is a third scenario that may be even worst as the country descends into complete chaos like libya or yemen, al-qaida and other terrorist groups take root, and that is the scenario
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that risks having those chemical weapons get into the hands of terrorists outside of the country. there are reports that the obama administration is about to recognize the opposition as the legitimate government of syria. i wouldn't do that, but if they are going to do it they should demand, insist that the opposition commit to turning over those chemical weapons to us, or to the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons to destroy them. martha: all right, ambassador thank you. always good to see you. >> thank you. gregg: here is the scene, the capitol rotunda in lancing, michigan. those are prounion demonstrators who are voicing their anger over a bill about to be passed into law that turns michigan into a right to work state. thousands of union members also gathering outside the capitol during the course of that vote. let's listen to that. [shouting] >> i'm hoping they make a chain. this is wrong, they have
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stripped the rights of the michigan people. they took away our voice. they need to change the appropriation clause and give us a vote. gregg: removing rights or empowering workers to choose, give them a freedom to choose whether they want to become a part of a union or not. it's two different point of views. we'll continue to follow it. martha: is this license plate unconstitutional? it's been banned in one state and that has residents of other states kind of scratching their heads over this whole thing since they have their own plates with the same message and it appears to be all legal. >> i know i'm educating someone behind me about the message, choose life. i never mind sitting in traffic. looking back, it's amazing how far i've come.
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shriners hospitals have everything to do with that. i was in an accident. i was burned. i lost my hands, my feet. i really thought my life was over. shriners did a lot more than just heal me. they helped me put my whole life back together. caitlin's life is one of nearly a million changed by donations from people like you. send your love to the rescue. donate today. martha: we are just getting a look at this situation, we thought we'd bring it to you from garland, texas, a huge fire is underway in garland, texas. it looks like it started in the
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upstairs addition aeu corresponded to the reports on the ground. it was reported right around 9:00am central time in texas this morning. there was somebody home according to these reports but they were able to get out. it looks like there is a two-story house involved here and also a boat, according to the wires. the firefighters seem to be having a bit of a tough time knocking this fire down, but the good news is that there is no reports of injury, boy some incredible aerial shots that we're seeing of these firefighters, very hard at work. we wish them good luck, as they handle this one in garland, texas. gregg: well, you can't have one without the other, a north carolina judge, a federal gentleman, mind you, ruling that a controversial choose life license plate in north carolina is unconstitutional. take a look at the plate, here is what it looks like. the federal judge ruled that it is a violation of the first amendment. the state cannot issue the plates without offering a similar plate for the opposing point of view.
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our legal panel is here now, tom kenneff defense attorney, former prosecutioner. and anna nicalazi a former district attorney. we should begin with the first amend. , it's the first because arguably it's the most important. congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or bridging the freedom of speech. if you exclude one point of view to the benefit of another is that abridging free speech? >> in this case yet. the government of the state should have chosen to not allow either side to enter the arena by not allowing either plate to be manufactured, but it can't pick one or the other. the question really comes to is it government speech or private speech? government can put forth whatever view it wants. that's why we go to the polls and we elect the people that we want to represent our viewpoints. what they can't do is they
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cannot regulate private speech in favor of one viewpoint over another. here in north carolina they allowed the choose life license plate, however, they struck down six different attempts for the other side. that is when it got sticky and it is unconstitutional. gregg: yeah, the legislature rejected, trust women, respect choice, or simply respect choice. tom, you have an interesting point of view. your argue aoupl ace understan argument as i understand it is, well people can still argue choice. >> absolutely, gregg. if we go back to the text of the first amendment what does it say? it says congress shall pass no law abridging the freedom of speech. this licensing state commissioning law out of north carolina did not restrict people -- it doesn't restrict anybody from seeking an abortion if they live in north carolina or anywhere else. it doesn't restrict the right of pro-life protestors to have their voice heard. agree with anna's analysis of
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the law, i disagree with the side she comes down on because i believe this is government speech. the reason why it's government speech, unless it's not subject to this equal time doctrine, is that the commissioning of the license plate was done by the north carolina legislature, that's what makes it government speech, and thus, they are not required to provide the counter argument. gregg: ann a you know, north carolina has exclusive editorial control over these plates, and there it is again, and to some extent they are regulating that private speech, are they not? >> that's what they can do. this is not government speech. if they want to change their state logo to choose life they can do that because people can go to the polls and decide if that's a message they want to represent. here, you are not having an open debate when you are actually prohibiting the other side from putting forth their view, that is the entire problem. this is not the first state to tkpwabl with this issu grapple
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with this issue. south carolina came up with the same result a few years ago. illinois stayed out of it all together. gregg: i've got judge fox' opinion, 21 pages. that is his biggest point here, you have the government regulating private speech, and you can't do that. >> but that is the new answer nuance. this isn't private speech because it went through the legislature. it wasn't referendum, or direct vote by the people. remember the people of north carolina elected these legislators. if the next election comes up if they don't like it -- gregg: that can still be unconstitutional. >> and also private speech. this isn't a license plate that is on every car. you have to pay i think it's 25 extra dollars to have this message on the back of your car. they are allowing for private individuals to put forth their view, which is fine but you have to have the other side. >> let me just put this out there, if the legislature commissioned the license plate in favor of preserving open space, let's say, is it your argument that then the
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legislature would have to give a license plate to real estate develo developers in favor of development. gregg: i'm completely out of time. good to see you both. good debate. martha: significanting argument. let's go over to jenna low and find out what is coming up a few minutes away on "happening now." jenna: he was just telling me he had a desaoeurpb license plate. he was a poe die a podiatrist. we will be talking about the big story, protestors taking over the state capitol in michigan. as michigan becomes a right to work state. it could happen any time. more coverage about the state of tennessee. tennessee is becoming the latest state to say it will not institute state-run exchanges. we'll talk to the governor about why that decision was made, plus as you know it's been three months since the deadly terror attacks on our diplomats in libya. are we safe, and what is really
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at stake? those are two big questions for us martha. martha: looking forward to that coming up at the top of the hour. as jenna said the top story right now is what is going on in the state house, and outside in michigan, everybody. [shouting] martha: we are watching this very closely as the vote isderwe whether or not to be in the union. we'll be right back. [chanting] hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet.
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gregg: fox news alert, this just came in, the united states alleging that the hsbc bank intentionally allowed prohibited transactions with iran, libya, sudan, and berm a, this is the u.s. department of justice that actually filed these felony
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criminal charges against the bank. it was widely expected precursor to a deferred prosecution agreement under which the bank would pay $1.9 billion to resolve money laundering charges. some background on a few of these countries designated state sponsors terrorism. >> this morning the number one story days this live action that is playing out in lansing, michigan. you see union supporters chanting an in the say the capitol, so reminiscent of what we saw in wisconsin as they battled the unions in their state. michigan has long been a very solid baston of union support and companies with all the union automakers having a presence there. this is a little bit of the sentiment being expressed by the
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union supporters on the ground there. >> how can you protect us was a union and protect our collective bargaining rights. it will erode what we worked very hard to achieve if it goes through. >> i'm all for right to work. everyone has the right to work, but we don't have a right to work for less. that's what i think this bill is going to eventually achieve for us. martha: more coming up on "happening now." [ malennouncer ] it's tt time of year again.
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>> that will do it for us. it has been an incredibly busy day in michigan and elsewhere. martha: "happening now" starts right now. >> brand new stories and breaking news jenna: weerl start in michigan. state troopers armed with tear gas and batons.